Mix some tea with a little sugar, a pinch of yeast, and some healthy bacteria in a jar and let it ferment in a warm, dark climate for a couple of weeks and you’ve got kombucha. That’s the recipe in a nutshell, anyway.
Although it may sound disgusting, it’s actually a wildly popular drink with millions of bottles being sold in the United States each year.
The Kentlands Whole Foods in Gaithersburg is cashing in on the craze by offering kombucha on tap at its recently opened organic coffee and juice bar. Store leader Travis Phaup says three varieties will be available — two staples and one rotating flavor. And he thinks it’s going to be a smash hit with customers.
Many believe kombucha has almost mythical healing properties that can do everything from boosting the immune system by cleaning out your gut to alleviating joint pain caused by arthritis. Others claim the fermented tea can provide women with relief from PMS symptoms because of its B vitamins.
However, to date, there have been no human trials on the drink’s health benefits published in a well-respected medical journal.
“This doesn’t mean that kombucha tea can’t possibly have health benefits, it just means that at this time, there’s no direct evidence that it provides the benefits it’s reported to have,” Mayo Clinic internist Dr. Brent A. Bauer told NBC News.
What has been proven is that the bacteria in the drink promotes a healthy digestive track, which is true for many fermented foods.
About The Author
Standing just 5 feet 6 inches tall, Chuck Carroll once weighed 420 pounds and amassed a 66-inch waist. He shed 260 pounds to become The Weight Loss Champion and now serves as an advocate for healthy living.
Follow him on Twitter @TheChuckCarroll